How to Make a Video Ad that Converts
Last Updated: Oct 27, 2014
If you aren’t using videos to advertise your business, you’re missing out. Besides looking at pictures of cats, most people spend a significant portion of their internet time watching videos. Learn how videos can be an affordable and effective way to market your business.
The stats are in and they prove what you might already see—if you want to make a standout impression, do it with video. According to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for 2013 ad revenue for the year totaled $42.8 billion. Internet advertising was $12.1 billion of the total in the fourth quarter—an increase of 14% from the third quarter and up 17% from the fourth quarter of 2012.
Internet advertising is exploding. If you’re not using digital marketing as part of your strategy, you’re missing out on a huge and growing market.
Internet search revenue made up 43% of all digital advertising revenue but that was 3% lower than in 2012. Display advertising, advertising seen on websites, represented 30% of the total—an increase of 7%. Within the display advertising category is digital video. Making up 7% of the category, it became the fourth largest format in total digital revenue last year.
But it doesn’t take a bunch of stats and high-priced studies to prove the point. If you have a school-aged child, ask them what they and their friends do on their phones for content consumption. The answer is likely, video. Pursue your Facebook newsfeed and count how many videos you see. There’s no denying that digital video is growing and you need to be there.
It’s WAY Too Expensive
Not true. Who has the time or money to put together a video when there are so many other things to do? There’s no denying that it’s either going to take time, money or both to make this happen but what if you saw a better return on your time and money with one video than you did with a dozen text or print ads? Although it will take money, it’s not as expensive as you might think.
With that in mind, let’s lay out what a good video looks like.
1. It has to be entertaining- It doesn’t need to be the next Hollywood blockbuster but if people aren’t entertained, you won’t accomplish your goals.
2. Would people watch it again and share it with others?
3. Does it solve a problem? Is there a problem your business is trying to solve for its customers? That’s what your video should do.
4. Does it flow well? The beginning is the headline or the hook—the reason people should keep watching. The middle is the meat—the main content, and the end is where you make the sale.
5. Does it have a call to action? The “end” of the video is the call to action. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re moving in for the hard sell. It could be asking the viewer to subscribe to an e-mail list, donate to a cause, or even nothing other than introducing them to your brand.
The Value-Priced Video
If you don’t know anything about producing a video, you might want to hire somebody but there are plenty of hobbyists who could help for low cost. If you do it yourself, here’s how to do it.
1. Use quality equipment. Believe it or not, a newer mobile phone will work just fine. That old VHS camcorder? Don’t wipe the dust off of it for this project.
2. Do it outside. The secret to a great video is light—a lot of light. There’s no better way to find a lot of light than by heading outside. Watch for shadows (a bad thing) but other than that, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re outside.
3. Use a simple background. No need to get all artsy. Simple, solid colors. No patterns, moving shapes, or anything fancy.
4. No cool effects. Video editing software has all kinds of bells and whistles for you to try. Just say no. Keep it simple.
5. Simple edits. Try to film the video straight through without having to stop and start. That will keep the editing process to a minimum. The more you have to cut and paste, the worse your first couple of videos will turn out.
6. Keep it short. For the web, videos under 3 minutes are ideal. Every rule has its exceptions so feel free to experiment but on the web, everybody has a short attention span.
7. Compress your video. Video editing software has all kinds of options you can choose for the format of your video. Use mp4 with the H.264 setting if available. Click here to learn more about video formats.
Speaking of video editing software
There are a lot of options available but one of best at a low price is Adobe Premiere Elements. This is a stripped down version of Adobe Premeire, the package used by many of the biggest movie studios. Starting at $79.99, this is the perfect package for beginners and later, if you decide to upgrade to the professional version, you’ll already know the basics.
Video is growing fast. If you aren’t using it as part of your marketing efforts, it’s time to start. A professional-quality video will cost you but with all of the tools now available for a reasonable price, you, or somebody you know, can probably put a video together for a minimal cost. Head over to YouTube and look at some of the videos there. Then—copy their format.
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